"On Ice Cream" featured in Dairy Foods magazine
and sourced from "On Ice Cream" technical short courses.
of Coarse Texture:
What causes the development of an unusual coarse "gritty" texture in
certain flavors of ice cream during storage? What can be done to prevent
Answer: When the coarseness is "gritty" and fails to go away
when the ice cream melts in the mouth, it is more specifically, and
quite aptly, called "sandy". It results from the crystallization of
lactose. Sandiness occurs when the freezing of ice concentrates the
lactose in the unfrozen portion of the mix above it solubility limits.
This is often found in flavors involving particulates that hasten the
detection of the lactose crystals by providing minute particles (e.g.,
dust) around which the crystals can form. Steps to prevent it relevant
to the product itself include: managing the level and solubility of
lactose through MSNF and total solids; reducing the use of dairy ingredients
with high lactose levels (e.g., whey solids); stabilizer selection;
and reducing the dustiness of particulates from flavor inclusions (e.g.,
nutmeats). Processing and handling safeguards include low draw temperatures;
rapid hardening; minimizing heat shock; and rapid turnover in stores.
The latter step is particularly important when sandiness occurs in products
with added particulates. These may not be among the fastest selling
flavors and inventory management is essential.
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